My name is Jane Kohuth and I am excited to be the new School Principal at Temple Beth Torah! My family joined TBT in 2017 and enrolled my son Kameron Stepansky in the Gan class. Since then, he has experienced a strong Jewish education as well as a warm and loving community– I have rarely seen my son appreciated in other settings in the way he has been at TBT. In 2018, I began teaching Kitah Hey (5th grade) and in 2021, I began teaching a combined Kitah Dalet-Hey Class (4th-5th grade) with a two-year cycling curriculum. I love being in the classroom and will continue to teach Kitah Dalet-Hey as well as taking on a school leadership role.
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where, fun fact, I graduated from the same Hebrew School as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg! I am a graduate of Brandeis University, where I studied English and Creative Writing, Jewish Studies, and Women’s Studies. I have a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, where I focused on women in religion and Jewish history. I’ve taught various Hebrew School grades in a number of synagogues over the years, and spent two years as the Assistant Director of Education at a congregation in Northern Virginia.
I am also a children’s book author. I’ve published five books for young children (plus two coming soon), including three books with Jewish themes. My picture books Estie the Mensch and Who’s Got the Etrog? are both PJ Library books, so you may have received them in the mail at some point! My early reader Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree was a National Council of Social Studies Notable Trade Book for Young People.
I am passionate about Jewish education, and believe that as Jewish adults, we have a responsibility to send our children into a difficult world with knowledge of who they are and where they come from – as well as the confidence that they have a loving community behind them. I am grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Rabbi Mimi Micner, our creative teachers, and our dedicated volunteers. It is our goal to ensure that the strengths of Temple Beth Torah’s Morris Nirenberg Religious School continue, while also striving to create a memorable and inspiring Jewish education that meets the needs of today’s Jewish families.
I’m Charli Bernstein and have been a long time member of TBT. Since 2009, I have been the 6th grade teacher at our religious school. I have been a B’nai Mitzvah tutor since 2005. For several years, I taught 2nd grade in addition to 6th. I am the Ritual Committee Chair, chant Torah and Haftorah and am often a Gabbi during services.
My educational philosophy is to provide students with a solid foundation in Judaism by studying traditions, prayer, interpreting prayers, ethics and understanding our obligations to family, the congregation, the community, and the world. We study writings, poems, the Torah, music, and art. Debates and discussions are an integral part of our class. This allows students to gain confidence and learn to use different methods of expressing their thoughts and feelings. A final project, entitled I am a Jew is a student presentation of what being Jewish means to them. Individual Jewish identity is a lifetime journey that takes on different meaning through various phases of life. Watching these students grow spiritually with increased confidence brings me immense happiness.
My full-time job is Project Manager of Fire Services for ADT Commercial. I am a licensed technician and contractor and hold various fire accreditations. My daughter Natalya was named at TBT, attended religious school, lives is Boston and is a graduate of Mass College of Art and Design.
My name is Beth Ecker. My husband Dan and I have been members of Temple Beth Torah for 28 years. I have been teaching at TBT for 13 years. I taught in the nursery school a few years, then when Torah Tots began, I taught that class, then the Aleph class and now I teach the Bet class.
When I am not at TBT, I teach pre-school in Sherborn and I have been there for 13 years. I have 3 children, who all attended the religious school and were Bar and Bat Mitzvah here at TBT. My son, Max was in the first preschool class at Temple Beth Torah.
I believe every child should have a basic foundation to Judaism. I bring my sister and brother who live in Israel into my lessons and try to provide a personal experience of Israel for my students. I think children should learn about our traditions. I help children to see how their family celebrates and honors the traditions and values, and that each family may do this in a different way, but we all are part of the Jewish people. I like my students to know how special it is to be Jewish. My father was a holocaust survivor and Judaism has always been a big part of my life and I get joy from sharing stories with my students.
I am the Gimel teacher. I was born in Cairo, Egypt into a conservative Jewish home and went to a Jewish day school. When President Anwar Sadat was elected, he closed all Jewish schools. My parents sent my siblings and I to the Lycée Français Du Caire where I learned French and other academic subjects. The Rabbi would come to the house to prepare and teach my brothers for their bar mitzvah. Girls had their bat mitzvah as a whole class; each had a part of the Shabbat morning service. In 1967 during the 6 Day War, my family was forced to leave Egypt. I came to Boston in 1968, went to high school, college and got married. When my children went to Hebrew School, I could not help them with their homework. This is when I realized it was time to go back and learn the Hebrew that I had forgotten. I started to teach Hebrew, and it became my passion. I taught in several synagogues in the Boston area and my passion for learning grew stronger and stronger. I care deeply for my Hebrew School students both at Temple Beth Sholom and at Temple Beth Torah.
My name is Jill Metzger, and this will be my fifth year teaching at the school, with my first year teaching Dalet, the past three years teach K’Sharim, and now teaching our combined Vav/K’Sharim class. I spent a lot of time at TBT growing up, as my family was very active at the synagogue. My experience in the school actually started back in high school when I was a madricha in the Vav class.
Elissa Washburn is the mother of three children – Rowan, Daven and Eliana. She has been a TBT member her whole life and was bat mitzvahed here! She taught Hebrew School for many years a long time ago and is excited to work with our youngest congregants in the Tots and Parents program.